Last Saturday night, as I was marinating the lamb for the Pomegranate Molasses Roasted Leg of Lamb, I decided to be a great daughter, and for once, do what my mom suggested – make rice!

You see, when bribing my mom with a home cooked lamb dinner, to get a few stems of her gorgeous peonies from the front yard, I asked her what she wanted as a side.  She asked for rice.
Since “plain” is not a word in my vocabulary, nor is it in hers, I decided to make a spectacular side rice dish that could shine along what proved to be a fantastic lamb recipe.  This one is it – Jasmine Rice Pilaf with Dried Apricots, Prunes, and Toasted Walnuts. 
Good thing for all your vegetarian and gluten-free family and friends – this recipe is delicious and filling on its own.  Just yesterday, I enjoyed the pilaf leftovers, jazzed up with soy sauce and sesame oil as a base for sauteed eggplant and vegetables. 
Enjoy!


Jasmine Rice Pilaf with Dried Apricots, Prunes, and Toasted Walnuts

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large shallot, finely diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups Jasmine rice

salt and pepper to taste

4 cups water

1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped

1/2 cup dried prunes, chopped

1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Directions

1.  Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot and garlic and saute for 3 minutes, stirring often.

2.  Add the rice to the shallot and garlic and stir to coat each granule of rice with oil.  Saute for 3 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

3.  Cover the rice with water and bring it up to a boil.  Lower the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and simmer the rice for 15 minutes, or until the water has absorbed completely and the rice is tender.

4.  Let the rice sit for 5 minutes.

5.  Stir in apricots, prunes, and walnuts right before serving.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Here it is!  The pilaf is served in a gorgeous bowl that was a gift from Priya – thanks sunshine, I love it!

And just in case you were wondering how the rice pilaf looked along the Pomegranate Molasses Roasted Leg of Lamb – not too shabby!

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